The Spectator

Barometer | 30 April 2015

Plus: How Miliband-style rent controls are already working; the riches of Len Blavatnik; and who gets wolf-whistled

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One-way stretch

A study at Louisville University in Kentucky concluded that collisions are twice as likely in one-way streets as in similar streets with two-way traffic.

— The one-way street is an older concept than many might imagine. Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London began in 1666, was one of the world’s first one-way streets. An order restricting cart traffic to one-way travel on that and 16 other lanes around Thames Street was issued in 1617.

— Data on traffic flow at the time is hard to come by, but the idea was not copied for over 300 years, until Mare Street, Hackney, became a one-way street in 1924.

Blavatnik’s billions

Ukrainian-born businessman Len Blavatnik was named by the Sunday Times as Britain’s richest man, worth £13.2bn. Some other recent estimates of his wealth:

$10.1bn (£6.5bn): Jerry Kroth in his book Duped: Delusion, Denial and the End of the American Dream (2012)

$18.7bn (£12bn): Forbes magazine (2014)

$21.5bn (£14bn): Miami Herald (Oct 2014), while claiming him as South Florida’s second wealthiest resident

Out of control

Ed Miliband said that, under his proposals for three-year tenancies, landlords would only be allowed to increase rents in line with inflation. Landlord and tenant would still be left to agree the initial rent. Some have likened it to the old system of rent controls introduced, supposedly temporarily, in 1915. Rent controls for new tenancies effectively ended with the 1988 Housing Act. However, some tenancies agreed before 1988 continue to operate. How have weekly rents for these increased compared with rents for newer, unregulated tenancies?



When the whistling stops

Police visited some builders in Worcester after complaints from a woman who said they were wolf-whistling her every day. Which women receive most wolf-whistles, sexual comments or staring? Ages of London women reporting incidents in the past 12 months:


Source: YouGov